As the use of Convenia long-acting antibiotic injection widens many MyPetsDoctor.com readers are writing in with questions about it.
“Can it be used for upper respiratory infections?”
“Can it be used for urinary tract infections?”
“Can it be used for skin infections?”
The answer to all of these questions is “yes”. In fact, your pet’s doctor is licensed to use any medication approved for use in the United States by the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In fact, he may use unapproved medications under strict supervision and with permission if he is part of a valid research program.
In general, antibiotics are indicated for the removal of bacterial infections from the body. Some antibiotics, by their chemical and physical characteristics, penetrate certain organs or parts of the body better than others. These qualities in antibiotics are often a major factor in our choice of medication from the thousands of antibiotics available.
Convenia, from Pfizer Animal Health, is approved for use in skin infections. The cephalosporin class of antibiotics has long been used for dermatologic purposes because it has a broad spectrum of effectiveness on a wide variety of bacteria and a strong ability to accumulate in the skin, where skin infections abide.
Cephalosporins, however, also have great usefulness in other organ systems and Convenia has proven itself in widespread use.
As its name implies, Convenia is very convenient because of its ability to take the place of twice-daily and thrice-daily oral antibiotics. Sometimes that characteristic is lifesaving, such as the cat who can’t be pilled or the dog whose gastrointestinal (GI) tract doesn’t tolerate oral antibiotics.
I had just such a case as the latter example this week. Benji is a little mixed-breed dog with severely infected lick granulomas on both rear legs. Benji also has terrible dental disease and a very sore mouth to go with it. He’s also a little too smart for his own good.
We had dispensed an oral antibiotic for his skin and on the first day he took it in a treat. On day two he refused the treat, but took it in a piece of bread. On day three he refused the treat and the bread, but took the medicine in a small piece of bologna. On day four…OK, you’re already ahead of me. Before a week was out Benji was refusing all forms of disguise for the oral medication.
Furthermore, Benji was vomiting shortly after each dose and his stool was a little loose. These are not uncommon problems with oral forms of cephalosporins. Adding yogurt to his diet helped, and his owner was even able to disguise the medication in the yogurt.
For one day.
When it came down to a no-treats-are-working situation it was time to give a pill conventionally. Open the mouth and push it behind the tongue. Because of Benji’s sore mouth, though, that wasn’t working, either.
We knew we were on the right track with the cephalosporin because both lick granuloma lesions were looking better.
Because it was not oral, the GI tract problems should disappear.
Because it is in the cephalosporin family it should give us ongoing improvement in the skin lesions.
And, it did. Benji is now feeling much better and his legs are looking great.
We have performed preanesthesia laboratory testing and all results are good. Benji is fifteen years of age and will be very healthy after we take care of his oral problems.
Benji is scheduled for that procedure in August and we expect to have him around for another five years of happy companionship.
See you tomorrow, Dr. Randolph.